Signup for our emails
USDA-Wildlife Services Improperly withholds Public Records
Albuquerque, NM. WildEarth Guardians this week sued Wildlife Services, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that kills millions of animals annually, after it failed to produce records in response to three separate Guardians’ requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Guardians seeks records that deal with criminal activity by agency employees as well as records that address the program’s non-compliance with environmental laws.
“The singular purpose of FOIA is to give citizens the ability to watch dog our government and hold it accountable,” stated Wendy Keefover, Director of Carnivore Protection for WildEarth Guardians.
Guardians sought Wildlife Services’ records concerning:
Guardians’ record request could reveal information that Wildlife Services particularly wants to keep secret as records may show that the USDA’s Wildlife Services program, and some of its employees may be out of step with environmental and criminal statutes. If true, agents who commit crimes against animals, for instance, still enjoy paychecks that largely come from tax dollars.
“Wildlife Services withholds documents it decides are sensitive or embarrassing, and groups like ours are forced to litigate in order to shine the light of day on governmental problems and to get the feds to obey the law.”